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The other night, I was on the fringe of a momversation about designer jeans. One hundred and eighty dollar designer jeans. As much as I would like to own a pair of jeans that would lift my junk back into my trunk, I am unemployed. One hundred and eighty dollar jeans are out of the question.

I live in jeans. I’ve got my play-on-the-floor jeans and my work-outside jeans. I have a pair that I must wear with a belt and a pair with raggedy legs from being scuffed under my shoes. I have a couple of pairs I can wear if I fast for a day or two (these are my standing room only jeans) and then there’s the button fly pair of American Eagle jeans that I bought in college and can’t bring myself to give away. The problem is that none of them fit me quite right. They either give me a troubling case of missingassitis or they underscore the mommy pooch I am continually trying to hide.

Yesterday, with the ladies’ postulations ringing in my head, I shimmied, shook, and struggled into no fewer than ten pairs of jeans at TJ Maxx. None of them fit. Skinny jeans with a one-inch fly may look good on the hanger but they ain’t gonna cut it in real life. Not mine, anyway. Jeans that have bell bottoms wider than my own bottom look just plain silly. And I flat-out refuse to buy jeans that are pre-ripped or have more than one zipper. So what’s left? Mom Jeans? C’mon now! I have three kids and am well into my fourth decade but hells if I’m ready for that.

Let’s face it: most people look better clothed than naked. I know I do. Even so, if I don’t find a pair of damnmyasslooksgoodinthese jeans soon, I may start leaving my pants on the ground.

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Is it me? Or have the current fashion trends come full circle? Having spent my pre-teen and teen years excitedly ordering clothes from J.C. Penney catalogs, I am no fashionista. When I was twelve or thirteen, we visited a family in Pennsylvania. My counterpart was the same age and ethnicity as I but that was where our similarities ended. Shortly after we arrived, she took me to her bedroom with the walk-in closet and proceeded to model a seemingly endless supply of sweaters from the United Colors of Benetton and J. Crew. She was stunned when I admitted I had never heard of either brand.

“But where do you get your clothes?” she asked.

I pushed my pink, twisted bandana headband from my forehead to the top of my head before I answered, “Uh, from Ames.”

Now, my standard uniform is jeans with a sweater. Old, broken-in jeans with machine washable sweaters. I reside in a world lightyears away from couture and a distant cry from even prêt-à-porter lines. In spite of this and my fashion apathy, I do occasionally wander through websites that cater to women who think nothing of dropping $1K on a pair of shoes that remind them of Carrie Bradshaw. And this is what they’re selling:

C’mon people. Really? Weren’t these ensembles in fashion when Kurt Cobain was alive? Who brought plaid shirts back? I wore a vest and gray leggings in the early 90s. And I had a black zippered mini-skirt from Express that I practically wore out. Not that I would (could!) wear them now. If I had them, which I don’t. So, who is wearing these clothes? Better question: Who is BUYING these clothes?

I don’t have the answers but I think Olivia Newton John wants her blue jumpsuit back.

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